best way to break in new bike

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by hillbilly81, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. hillbilly81

    hillbilly81 Active Member

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    I would like to hear from some people who have bought a new bike....what do you feel is the best way to break one in...why do they want you to keep it under 50mph the first 500 miles just curious
     
  2. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Getting the rings set is one reason for the under 50mph rule.

    Quick use of the search function brings up this good info.

    Harley Davidson Forums
     
  3. Biffy08

    Biffy08 Active Member

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    This maybe a dumb question, but both methods say to change the oil at 50(s+s) 100 miles, 500 miles (s+s). Considering the cost of a good synthetic, that can be costly. Can conventional oil be used for the break in, and synthetic after the break in is complete? And both methods don't say anything about changing the filter?
     
  4. Biffy08

    Biffy08 Active Member

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    I just thought of another question.

    I have put about 210 miles on my new bike, using the HD break in method. Should I change the oil now and perform one of these 2 methods or continue with the HD break in method?
     
  5. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Synthetic oil is NOT recommended during break-in. Dino oil is usually recommended. I would change the filter too. You are trying to trap and remove any leftovers from the manufacturing process. This is not the time to try and save money you just spent a fortune on the bike. A little oild and some filters is worth it IMO. Your ride you decide.
     
  6. btsom

    btsom Active Member

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    Never ceases to amaze me that the instructions written by the folks who would like you to buy another machine a few years down the road would be regarded as the least authoritative of any of the techniques available. Saying that S & S recommends such and such is interesting but they didn't build YOUR engine. If the MOCO only wanted to sell you one machine in your entire riding lifetime, I could understand suspicion of the info in the owner's manual. The engineers, designers, builders employed by Harley obviously know nothing so do what you want, it's your machine. Folks on the net know much better what works.

    I know this is a rant. What generates these questions? Everybody has their own stories of what they like best. My story is that I broke in mine by the book and at 61,000+ miles it still used no oil between changes, makes no odd noises and has the power they designed into it. Good enough for me.
     
  7. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I'll play a bit of Devil's Advocate on this one. I see what you're saying but I approach it from the opposite angle from you. If HD wanted to sell you one bike and have it last forever, I'd follow their recommendations to the letter. BUT THEY DON'T!!! They'd be thrilled if we traded in for a new bike every model year. The sale of the bike is one matter but they make more money selling parts, accessories, oil, t shirts, etc. I think they'd be mortified if we all decided to take such good care of our bikes that they last forever.

    I've read many pros and cons of all the various break in methods. The one outlined in our Self Help section just makes sense to me and is endorsed by a lot of knowledgeable engine builders and racers.

    Whatever method you use, the critical part is frequent oil and filter changes in the early life of the bike to keep those nasty break in particles from continuously circulating in your engine.
     
  8. btsom

    btsom Active Member

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    You seem to read more into my post than I intended, so I'll do the same. I didn't mean to suggest that any machine lasts for ever, only that it meets reasonable expectations. It should last the original owner a long time if maintained by the book or serve at least two owners well if sold in 2 to 4 years. A second owner being well served by the machine well might be motivated to buy a new one the next time.

    To carry your logic a bit further would be to suggest that the MOCO gives detailed instructions on how to destroy their product and that is the way to build customer loyalty. You buy a new machine and follow the directions. By 10,000 miles it is burning a quart of oil every 1000 miles. At two years and one day, you are riding it back to the dealer to trade it in on a new one and the transmission locks up, the engine throws a rod and the primary has turned into a pile of iron filings. That has made you a loyal customer and no one ever buys a used machine because the MOCO has told everyone how to destroy them in two years and one day.

    No doubt there are re-builders who say to change the oil very frequently during the break in period, but what are they really saying? This engine will generate so much abrasive trash in 100 miles that it will plug the filter and continue to generate trash so that the by-passed oil will destroy the engine in another 50 miles. Perhaps he knows that he left the back door on his shop open during a west Texas dust storm while he was assembling your engine. Do what he says. I wouldn't argue but I wouldn't have him do another engine for me.

    Feel free to over maintain to the maximum you can afford, you won't get an argument from me. Likewise, break in YOUR machine any way you want but I still don't understand why the owner's manual would be the LAST place to go for suggestions.
     
  9. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    How many Millions of Harleys have had a long trouble free life with the owners just driving off the lot, and never considering "proper break in"? There is good, better and best ways to break engines in. I have never seen any numerical data that proves one way is the best.
     
  10. hillbilly81

    hillbilly81 Active Member

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    this is getting interesting nice to hear the different opinions. I have kept mine under 50 so far but have kept the rpms up when riding around here in the country let it decelerate instead of braking sometimes